Arsenal star Ainsley Maitland-Niles will speak to boss Mikel Arteta about his future after the Gunners rejected a transfer bid from Everton, reports claim.
The 24-year-old full-back and midfielder has had a mixed career since breaking through in 2017. He may have made 123 outings for the club, but he has rarely felt like a crucial first-team star. Indeed, he spent the second half of last season on loan at West Brom, securing a deadline day move in January.
Upon his return to north London, he openly asked for clarity over whether his future remained at Arsenal.
Since then, he has swayed more towards another exit. Indeed, Everton have had the strongest transfer links to date.
The Daily Mirror reports that the Toffees made an official bid on Sunday night. They proposed a loan deal with the option to buy next summer.
However, Arsenal rejected that approach. The Times journalist Paul Joyce adds that Arsenal have now told Maitland-Niles that they want him to stay.
Although, the England hopeful now has his heart set on a move to Everton in search of more game time.
As such, he will speak to Arteta in the coming hours to determine his manager’s plan for the current season.
In a twist later on Monday, Maitland-Niles posted on Instagram: “All I wanna do is go where I’m wanted and where I’m gonna play.”
He signed a new long-term contract in 2018 after his breakthrough season. But with two years left on those terms, he faces a decision next summer even if he stays at Arsenal this season.
As for Everton, manager Rafael Benitez sees Maitland-Niles as a right-back – and that area as a key part of his rebuild.
Further potential Arsenal transfer exit
Meanwhile, Eddie Nketiah could also leave Arsenal before Tuesday’s 11pm transfer deadline.
The striker has yet to make an appearance this season and is attracting interest from Crystal Palace.
Eagles boss Patrick Vieira is keen to bolster his attack. Arsenal reportedly want £20million for the England Under-21 international.
However, they may be willing to lower that valuation, which could give Palace encouragement.